Cost Effective
Wave Bolts are made of marine grade 316L stainless steel (SS), providing excellent corrosion resistance. At a retail cost of $5.75 each (bulk pricing available), Wave Bolts are less expensive than even a plated steel (PS) mechanical bolt and hanger combination.
Wave Bolt
per bolt
Rawl PS
Rawl PS
Rawl SS
Rawl SS
½ x 4” ½ x 2 ¾ ½ x 3 ¾ ½ x 2 ¾ ½ x 4 ¾

Wave Bolts are even less expensive than other inferior glue-in bolts:

Wave Bolt
per bolt
Fixe #0-14M
$8.50 each
Fixe #0-14D
½ x 4” 10mm x 80mm 8mm stock

The Future of Bolting is Here

Wave Bolts are the strongesteasiest to use, and most cost-effective glue-in rock climbing anchor available, offering tremendous shear and pullout resistance and ease-of-use not found in other designs. It is the only anchor available that combines the strength of glue-ins with the convenience of mechanical bolts. Even in vertical placements the Wave Bolt will not slide out of the hole – like other glue-in bolts do – prior to the glue hardening. Just place the Wave Bolt and move on!

Wave Bolt: The Best Rock Climbing Anchor Available!

Route developers and climbers are reaching a consensus that glue-in bolts are superior to mechanical bolts, and should be used for new development and replacement of old, unsafe bolts. However, many developers are still reluctant to actually use glue-ins because of their previous difficulty of use. The groundbreaking Wave Bolt combines the strength, ease of use, and cost effectiveness to solve the problems of all other bolts, glue-in or mechanical. Wave Bolts are the obvious choice for developers and climbers wanting the safest, easiest, and longest lasting anchors.

The Wave Bolt’s unique design means it is the strongest climbing anchor bolt available. To resist pull-out failure, other glue-in designs rely on the glue hardening around the exterior contours of the rod. The Wave Bolt’s design however allows the glue to encase the exterior and interior of the bolt, truly locking the bolt within the glue, resulting in significantly higher pull test results than other brands. Compare the Wave Bolt’s design to that of Fixe’s glue-ins and you will see the difference. If Fixe is the self-professed industry standard, then they are the old standard!

Wave Bolts were subjected to a real-world test with a hydraulic pulling rig and digital load cell in the Corbin Sandstone of the Red River Gorge. The results were amazing:

Shear Pull: no failure (breakage or pull out) at 9100lbs, at which point the test had to stop to avoid damage to the testing equipment. This is substantially higher than the UIAA requirement for climbing anchors, and more than 1000lbs above the failure point of similarly-tested Fixe glue-ins.

Tension Pull: rock failure (blowout) reached at 8000lbs but no bolt failure (breakage or pullout).

Ease of Use
Wave Bolts are hands down the easiest glue-in bolt to use. Previously a significant problem with glue-ins was that they would slide out of the hole before the adhesive set. This caused much trouble for developers, leading some to simply not use them on steep routes, exactly where mechanical bolts can be most problematic. To get around this problem, developers would have to place a temporary mechanical bolt, then sit and hold the glue-in in place until the adhesive hardened enough to move on.

The Wave Bolt’s tapered design completely solves this problem because the bolt holds itself in place, even in a dead vertical hole. Developers can now set a Wave Bolt and immediately move on to the next placement. In fact, in one test a Wave Bolt held over 1000 pounds in a straight out pull WITHOUT adhesive! Some developers on steep routes report gluing a hole, placing a Wave Bolt, and clipping into it immediately to “stay in” to the wall.

Another advantage of Wave Bolts is that since they are made in the U.S., they are sized in inches rather than millimeters. No more having to purchase expensive, hard to find metric drill bits!


Why use Wave Bolts?

To answer this, we must first explain why to use glue-ins instead of mechanical bolts (e.g. a “Rawl” or “Powers” bolt). The answer to this is simple: glue-in bolts are far safer and last a lot longer than mechanical bolts. Mechanical bolts rely on friction to keep them from pulling out. The less friction, the less resistance to “tension” (a straight-out pull). Unfortunately, there are several ways friction is reduced with mechanical bolts: a poorly drilled hole, a loosened nut (ever come across a “spinner”?), and repeated loadings from falls are just a few. Mechanical bolts also have less “shear” strength (resistance to a perpendicular pull) than glue-ins because their diameter is less. For example, a supposed big, beefy half-inch mechanical sleeve bolt actually has only a 3/8th inch bolt inside the sleeve. Glue-in bolts on the other hand do not rely on friction to stay in the rock. Instead, the adhesive hardens around the contours of the bolt and bonds with the rock. This chemical bond is essentially permanent, and much more resistant to failure than the friction bond of mechanical bolts. Moreover, because there is no mechanical action, there is no chance a glue-in will loosen over time.

For these reasons, there really is no justifiable reason to install mechanical bolts. Once a route developer chooses to use glue-ins, the question of which glue-in to use is equally as simple: Wave Bolts! Wave Bolts are hands-down the best glue-in bolt available, combining ease of use, ultra-high tension and shear resistance, and cost effectiveness not found in any other design. 

I heard glue-ins are too difficult to use. How hard are Wave Bolts to use?

It is true that every other design of glue-in bolt available suffers from a serious shortcoming, leading to them being difficult to use: they slide out of the hole before the adhesive sets. Not only is this annoying – developers have to resort to either sitting there and holding the bolt in place, or putting tape or epoxy on the bolt to hold it – it also made the process of route development harder and longer than compared to when mechanical bolts are used. Unfortunately, this has led many developers to not use glue-ins, even though they understand them to be superior to mechanical bolts.

Wave Bolts however are just as easy to use as mechanical bolts. Exactly like a mechanical, just drill and clean the hole, insert the Wave Bolt, and move on the next placement. You can even clip in to a Wave Bolt immediately after placing it, just like with a mechanical bolt. Wave Bolts are the ONLY glue-in bolt available with which you can do this. Because of their unique design, Wave Bolts will not slide out of the hole before the adhesive sets. Pull tests have shown Wave Bolts to resist just over 1000lbs of straight-out pull WITHOUT any adhesive at all! The only difference between using a Wave Bolt and a mechanical bolt is that you need to insert adhesive into the hole before placing a Wave Bolt. This small additional step takes only a few seconds, and is far outweighed by the immense gains in safety, longevity, and cost effectiveness compared to a mechanical bolt.

I’m not a route developer. Why should I care about what bolts are on my project?

Because you should never have to worry about a bolt failing! Climbing is more enjoyable, and you can concentrate on sending your route, when you are not worried about your gear. The fact is most climbers simply take for granted that the hardware they climb on won’t fail. Ever been on a route and come across a “spinner?” Did that make you feel good? Ever come across a rusty bolt and/or hanger? Although bolt failure is rare, it does happen. A recent example from the New River Gorge of a brand new mechanical bolt failure, leading to the climber decking, proves the point. 

What is the best set up for an anchor station with Wave Bolts?

An anchor station can be created with Wave Bolts just like it can with any other type of bolt. Two common set ups are 1) two Wave Bolts placed about 8-10 inches apart in the same horizontal plane, each with two 3/8th or ½ inch quicklinks attached; 2) one Wave Bolts placed higher than the other, with the high bolt having a quicklink, section of chain, and another quicklink, and the low bolt having two quicklinks; the lowest two quicklinks should hang at the same height so the bolts are equalized.

Many people ask about combining the stainless steel (SS) Wave Bolts with standard zinc-plated steel (PS) quicklinks. It has become common in climbing to be concerned about “not mixing metals.” This catch phrase is getting at what is known as galvanic corrosion, or corrosion that can occur when two dissimilar metals come in contact under certain conditions. The severe rusting that occurs on mechanical bolt and hanger combinations is an example of this, and absolutely can lead to a very unsafe bolt/anchor. However, “not mixing metals” may be a bit oversimplified. Galvanic corrosion can only happen when two dissimilar metals are in contact (and placed under the necessary conditions); a PS bolt and PS hanger, or a SS bolt and SS hanger cannot galvanically corrode. Since SS mechanical bolts are prohibitively expensive, when dissimilar metals are used it is almost always a PS mechanical bolt and a SS hanger. This is quite dangerous, because corrosion can occur on the bolt inside the rock where it is impossible to see. Over time, this can lead to a severely weakened bolt.

So yes in a perfect world a route developer would use a SS quicklink with a Wave Bolt. However, SS quicklinks are about three times the cost of PS ones. So the relevant question is: if a developer chooses to not use SS quicklinks, how much of a concern is galvanic corrosion? The good news is that the concern is substantially less than with a PS mechanical bolt and SS hanger combination. Plated steel is much more anodic than the Wave Bolt’s grade 316 stainless steel, therefore any corrosion that may occur will primarily affect the quicklink, not the Wave Bolt. Since the quicklink is easy to inspect and replace if necessary, the potentially harmful effects of galvanic corrosion in this combination are minimal.

Can Wave Bolts be removed in the future?

Yes, but as with any glue-in it is more involved than with a mechanical bolt. The easiest way to remove one is to not remove one. This means thinking ahead and using good judgment when placing a Wave Bolt. It may also mean equipping the route with “leaver biners” or quicklinks on crux bolts to let climbers lower off a route before the anchors without running their rope directly through the Wave Bolt.

If you must remove the Wave Bolt, the easiest way is to cut or grind off the head of the bolt, then use a core bit to drill around the shaft of the bolt still in the rock. Once you have drilled the length of the shaft, you will be able to knock the bolt out. PLEASE then fill the old hole with putty or something similar so that an old, nasty, empty hole is not left in the rock.

Can Wave Bolts be used to replace old mechanical bolts?

Absolutely! In fact, we strongly recommend removing the old mechanical bolt and using the same hole to retro-fit a Wave Bolt. Doing so reduces the number of holes drilled in the rock and removes unsightly old bolts, thereby dramatically reducing the impact of climbing on the natural environment.

Once an old mechanical bolt is removed, clean the hole well and place a Wave Bolt just like you would in a new hole. Since Wave Bolts do not rely on friction for their strength, imperfections in the hole caused by the mechanical bolt are not a concern.

Which adhesive do you recommend using?

The strength of any glue-in bolt is ultimately a factor of what adhesive is used. Therefore we recommend only the highest quality adhesives. Specifically, we recommend ITW A7 and Hilti HY150MAX for fast working and cure-time applications, and Hilti RE500 and Hilti 500SD for applications where fast cure and working times are not needed.

We strongly advise against using any type of adhesive you have to mix yourself, as variations in your mix lead to significant differences in the overall strength of the adhesive.

Order Today


1/2 Inch Wave Bolt. (Qty: 1-100) Contact for bulk pricing or special orders. $5.75ea


A7 Adhesive: $20.00

ITW’s A7 is our standard recommendation for adhesive. It has fast working (5-7 minutes) and cure times (25-35 minutes) under normal conditions, is lower cost than other top-shelf adhesives, and can be used in a standard caulking gun (ITW’s specialized A100 applicator available, contact for information).


Extra Nozzle: $1.50


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